"The story begins in 1841, when a 14 year-old Japanese boy named Manjiro became a castaway on a deserted Pacific island with four of his crewmates. Finally, after six months, they were rescued by a whaling captain, William Whitfield, from Fairhaven, MA, sailing the barque John Howland. It's a long story (so you need to go to the museum!), but Captain Whitfield taught Manjiro English and took the crew, except for Manjiro, to Hawaii. When the captain returned to New Bedford Harbor a few years later, he brought Manjiro back to his home in Fairhaven, making Manjiro the first Japanese person to come to the USA. This is a heart-warming story of friendship to one's fellow man and of love for one's native homeland.
Note: the museum is now on its winter schedule. Admission is by appointment only until Memorial Day 2015."